Intracellular immunohistochemical detection of Tetrodotoxin in Pleurobranchaea maculata (Gastropoda) and Stylochoplana sp. (Turbellaria)

Salvitti, Lauren R., Wood, Susanna A., Winsor, Leigh, and Cary, Stephen Craig (2015) Intracellular immunohistochemical detection of Tetrodotoxin in Pleurobranchaea maculata (Gastropoda) and Stylochoplana sp. (Turbellaria). Marine Drugs, 13 (2). pp. 756-769.

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Tetrodotoxin (TTX), is a potent neurotoxin targeting sodium channels that has been identified in multiple marine and terrestrial organisms. It was recently detected in the Opisthobranch Pleurobranchaea maculata and a Platyhelminthes Stylochoplana sp. from New Zealand. Knowledge on the distribution of TTX within these organisms is important to assist in elucidating the origin and ecological role of this toxin. Intracellular micro-distribution of TTX was investigated using a monoclonal antibody-based immunoenzymatic technique. Tetrodotoxin was strongly localized in neutral mucin cells and the basement membrane of the mantle, the oocytes and follicles of the gonad tissue, and in the digestive tissue of P. maculata. The ova and pharynx were the only two structures to contain TTX in Stylochoplana sp. Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, TTX was identified in the larvae and eggs, but not the gelatinous egg cases of P. maculata. Tetrodotoxin was present in egg masses of Stylochoplana sp. These data suggest that TTX has a defensive function in adult P. maculata, who then invest this in their progeny for protection. Localization in the digestive tissue of P. maculata potentially indicates a dietary source of TTX. Stylochoplana sp. may use TTX in prey capture and for the protection of offspring.

Item ID: 37586
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1660-3397
Keywords: Pleurobranchaea maculata; Stylochoplana sp.; tetrodotoxin; immunohistochemistry; monoclonal antibody
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© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (

Funders: Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ)
Projects and Grants: RSNZ award UOW1002
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2015 03:13
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1115 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences > 111506 Toxicology (incl Clinical Toxicology) @ 25%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified @ 25%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060807 Animal Structure and Function @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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